His & Hers

Crafting the perfect cocktail couple.

Mattias Hägglund

Photos by Tyler Darden

When choosing signature cocktails for your wedding reception, let the season inspire you. Incorporate berries for the spring, or craft a warm quaff with baking spices for the winter. Mattias Hägglund, a co-owner of The Jasper in Richmond along with Thomas Leggett and Kevin Liu, recommends consulting your local farmers’ market to see what will be in season. Then, Hägglund invites couples to the bar for a tasting—as you would for a cake—so he can gauge what they like and talk out options, starting with determining a style and then choosing citrus, herbs, and spices. 

Hägglund suggests crafting his and hers cocktails that share a common ingredient. Two opposite, yet complementary, cocktails are more likely to please a crowd, because one can be light and refreshing, such as a sour, while the other can be full-bodied and spirit-driven, like an Old Fashioned. “It’s nice to have two very different drinks that share a common thread, hopefully something the couple sees in their common bonds,” says Hägglund. 

Cocktails divergent in style also allow the mixologist to showcase the star ingredient in an unusual way. “A drink with a fruity flavor doesn’t have to be super refreshing; it can be more spirit-forward,” Hägglund says. He also advises selecting drinks for weddings that can be prepared in batches and served on draft to ensure quick service to a large group.

For our spring and summer drinks, Hägglund chose strawberries as his common thread because they are easy to source all season. For the fall and winter, he sought warming flavors in maple and black walnut.

Spring/Summer

His: Forever Old Fashioned

2 ounces bourbon

¼ ounce strawberry syrup

1 dash vanilla bitters

1 dash Angostura bitters

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice; stir. Strain onto fresh ice and garnish with a strawberry slice and lemon twist.

Hers: Ceremonial Sling

1 ½ ounces dry gin

¼ ounce Galliano

½ ounce fresh lime juice

½ ounce strawberry syrup

3 ounces brut rosé wine

Add the first four ingredients to a shaker with ice; shake. Strain into a chilled collins glass, fill with ice, and gently top with brut. Garnish with seasonal aromatic herbs, such as mint, basil, thyme, anise hyssop, or tarragon.

For the strawberry syrup:

500 grams strawberries, hulled and chopped

500 grams white sugar

450 grams nearly boiling water

Pour sugar over strawberries until covered and set aside for 24 hours. Add the water and stir until sugar is dissolved, then strain out the strawberries.

Fall/Winter

His: Blissed Out

2 ounces Zaya or other dark, vanilla-heavy rum

¼ ounce bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup

1 dash black walnut bitters

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice; stir. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with an orange twist.

Hers: Apple of My Eye

1 ½ ounces bourbon

¼ ounce bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup

½ ounce lemon juice

1 ounce fresh local apple cider

1 dash black walnut bitters

Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice; shake. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with freshly grated cinnamon.


This article originally appeared in our Weddings 2019 issue.

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